Club Hous Europe Issue 5

Page 1


Everything is under control – isn’t it? Advice on F&B. Page 16


Iconic clubs – spotlight on Gleneagles A word with – Daniel Asis Boyer CCM Bernard Gallacher – on saving lives




Dear friends, I am very pleased to address you once again through Clubhouse Magazine.

Daniel Asis Boyer

Mike Braidwood

Nigel Cartwright

Arnaldo Cocuzza CCM

Trevor Coughlan

Lawrence Hardcastle

For this reason, on behalf of our membership and Board, I want to thank those organisations who have already embraced our education pathway, investing their efforts and resources as pioneers of this exceptional Managers’ Education Programme. I am delighted to recognise and applaud: the Scottish Golf Union, the Scottish Ladies Golf Association, Real Federación Española de Golf, the Confederation of Golf in Ireland, the Italian Golf Federation, Fédération Française de Golf, England Golf, CMAE Scottish Region, Club Manager Spain, the Irish Golf & Club Managers Association, Italian Golf Managers, Association des Directeurs de Golf and CMAE London & Home Counties.

Steve Herrin

Steve Newell

Duncan Ritchie

As the Club Managers Association of Europe, we are always striving to bring into our circle more of the managers associations, unions and federations throughout our continent. So I am pleased to underline once again our pan-European purpose, which, as an umbrella organisation, aims to invite the European club managers associations to join CMAE “en bloc”, thus avoiding us taking individual members from any current or potential Alliance or Affiliated Partners. Our strength lies in teambuilding and our Alliance Partners and the Regions represent the biggest asset of CMAE. Our Board is keen to expand, improve and enhance these long distance relationships.

Sean Ferris

Caroline Scoular

Nick Sellens

Leigh Ann Ogilvie

Jonathan Hardy

David Foster

Like most associations or enterprises, the Club Managers Association of Europe (CMAE) is facing a time of big global challenges. We are working hard during these times of change to keep the Association aligned with its main objectives. The European club industry is very demanding at present and our club managers are having to perform to their best in order to lead successful clubs. To do this they must ensure their knowledge is kept up to date. Education is CMAE’s primary activity and we are constantly working to achieve this goal. We are delivering more and more successful education courses in Europe and to aid this process we now have a full time Director of Education, Michael Braidwood CCM, who joined us in October and who is already making a strong impact on our education output.

From the 8th to the 12th of March this year, I had the privilege to be at the 88th World Conference on Club Management organised by the Club Managers Association of America (CMAA) in San Antonio, Texas. Every time I take part in this annual event, along with many European colleagues, I experience the huge benefits of professionalism, education and networking, all at once. It is always a rewarding and memorable time and so I invite all of our members to plan ahead for next year’s World Conference in San Diego, California, from 21st to 25th of February, 2016. During the World Conference a service was held to commemorate Joe Perdue, who passed away in January. I would like to repeat the words spoken there by one of CMAE’s founders, Nigel Cartwright: “Joe was a big man with a big heart and an inspiration to all at CMAE who believed in education. He was always available with support, a word of encouragement and advice when asked. With the gift of the BMI programme he nurtured and encouraged us in his quiet, dedicated way from birth to fruition of our MDP Education pathway. Joe was a wonderful example of a decent, caring and visionary man of our times.” Lastly, I invite all readers involved in club management to visit the CMAE website and to explore all the advantages of being a CMAE member. All the best for the Spring and Summer seasons at your club. Kind regards

Arnaldo Cocuzza CCM President, Club Managers Association of Europe

Editor Caroline Scoular Design David Foster Editorial Nick Sellens Sales and Marketing Manager Leigh-Ann Ogilvie Circulation Jonathan Hardy Administration Debbie Goddard Publishing Director Sean Ferris;

Clubhouse Europe is published by Alchemy Contract Publishing Ltd. ACP Gainsborough House 59/60 Thames Street Windsor Berkshire SL4 1TX United Kingdom t. +44 (0)1753 272022 f. +44 (0)1753 272021

CMAE The Club Managers Association of Europe Office 8 Rural Innovation Centre Unit 169 Avenue H Stoneleigh Park Warwickshire CV8 2LG United Kingdom t. +44 (0) 247 669 2359 f. +44 (0) 247 641 4990

The views expressed in this magazine are not necessarily those of the publishers or the CMAE. Clubhouse Europe does not verify the claims made by advertisers regarding their products.


Contents 6 News round-up News, views and events – CMAE’s Educational Calendar, latest accreditations awarded and new bursary announced.


10 Bernard Gallacher OBE – on saving lives When Bernard Gallacher suffered a cardiac arrest the world paid attention. Why all clubs should have defibrillators onsite.

13 A word with – Daniel Asis Boyer CCM The Director of Golf at Spain’s prestigious Oliva Nova Golf and Beach Resort, Daniel shares his views and vision.

16 Don’t panic... Everything is under control – isn’t it? CMAE MDP course provider Steven Brown focuses on the art of a successful F&B operation.

21 World Conference Reflections on the CMAA’s 88th World Conference in San Antonio, Texas.

23 Promotion – corporate travel


Most travellers have a common goal; to be able to book a journey that is tailored to their individual needs and to get from A to B in the most cost effective and efficient manner possible. Here’s how...

32 FootGolf – a footfall raiser? Is that actually a football being kicked towards the 18th? Welcome to the world of FootGolf!

35 Supporting your Pro With easy access to the Internet and the ability to shop online, how does the future look for the club pro?

24 Iconic clubs – Gleneagles

36 Ernie Els – winning with wine

Last year was a landmark year for Gleneagles. But just what makes this such a special place?

A visit to Stellenbosch to test out some of the smoothest reds in the business.

26 Selling membership – and closing the deal

39 Google game-plan

Having a robust process for membership sales is a must. Top tips on what to include.

Google recently made an announcement relating to its search engine algorithm. But what does this mean to the club website?


28 Introducing CMAE’s new Director of Education Clubhouse Europe welcomes Michael Braidwood and finds out just what makes him tick. Read on...

30 Promotion – revenue raising with mobile refreshments Maximising revenue from the golf course is one of the club manager’s prime tasks. So where do refreshments come in?


40 Promotion – three website ‘easy wins’ Almost every club is looking for an advantage when it comes to their website. Jonas offers three ‘easy wins’.

41 Attention to detail What exactly constitutes attention to detail – and why does it matter? For more information on any of these articles or to contribute to our next issue, contact Caroline Scoular. e. t. +44 (0)1753 272022 For more information on the CMAE, its events and/or courses contact Debbie Goddard. e. t. +44 (0) 247 669 2359


News from the frontline CMAE EDUCATION CALENDAR The CMAE’s Education Calendar is well underway, with Management Development Programmes (MDPs) having already taken place in England, France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Spain. MDP Parts 1 and 2 cover the 10 core competencies of modern club management while the new MDP Part 3, being introduced in October in Edinburgh, specialises in leadership and advanced management. Scotland is also the host for MDP Golf, held in December at the home of Golf, St Andrews, while the recently launched MDP Food and Beverage will take place for a second year in Dublin (November). 2015 SCHEDULE October 5-9 – MDP & S&L Edinburgh, Scotland (Host – CMAE) October 12-16 – MDP 1 England (venue & host TBC) October 26-30 – MDP 1 Stirling, Scotland (Host – SGU/SLGA) November 2-6 – MDP 2 Bournemouth, England (Host – CMAE London & Home Counties Region) November 23-27 – MDP F&B Dublin, Ireland (Host –CMAE) November 23-27 – MDP 1 Dublin, Ireland (Host – CGI Ireland) November 23-27 – MDP 1 Marbella, Spain (Host – CM Spain) Nov 30 – Dec 4 – MDP 1 Paris, France (Host – ADGF France) December 7-11 – MDP Golf St Andrews, Scotland (Host – SGU/SLGA) 2016 SCHEDULE Jan 25 - 29 – MDP 1 Bournemouth, England (Host – CMAE London & Home Counties Region) February TBC – MDP 1 Rome, Italy (Host – AITG Italy) Feb 29 - Mar 4 – MDP 2 Dublin, Ireland (Host – CGI Ireland) March 7 – 11 MDP 2 Stirling, Scotland (Host – SGU/SLGA) April 18 - 22 – MDP1 Madrid, Spain (Host – CM Spain) • Visit


Irish delegates celebrate completion of MDP Part 1 A delegation of 14 Irish club industry professionals recently completed the Club Managers Association of Europe’s (CMAE) Management Development Programme (MDP) Part 1. The week-long programme took place in Dublin and was organised by James Burns CCM, of the Irish Golf and Club Managers Association (IGCMA), with the support of SkillNets. The event was underwritten and hosted by the Confederation of Golf in Ireland, the body set up to support, promote and develop the game of golf in Ireland. Designed to enhance the knowledge of each participant so that they can better serve their club committee, owners and members, the delegates heard stimulating presentations from leading educators, including Ronnie Malcolm, Sharron

Ruttledge, Duncan Ritchie and Kevin Fish CCM. They also engaged in a high-level presentation skills session conducted by Poll Moussoulides and Terry Small from ‘Brainfluence’. The MDP delivered education on all 10core competencies of modern club management, namely: • Club Governance • Accounting & Financial Management • Strategy & Leadership • Golf Operations • Facilities Management • Membership & Marketing • Human Resources & Professional Resources • Interpersonal Skills • Food and Beverage Management • Statutory Compliance John Roche, Director of Golf and Business

Stirling effort all round

The CMAE’s April Management Development Programme (MDP) Part 2 was another resounding success for the Scottish Golf Union/Scottish Ladies Golf Association (SGU/SLGA) in Stirling. The Scottish golf club delegates were joined by managers from England and the United Arab Emirates. Leading educators from America, Scotland and England, Gregg Patterson, Ronnie Malcolm, Rick Bond, Bill Sanderson, Kevin Fish CCM, and Helen Bennett kept everyone engaged by their exciting presentations. Delegates also worked in teams on a case study problem solving exercise throughout the five day course. During the week the CMAE Scottish Region organised a special seminar with internationally renowned speaker Gregg Patterson talking on the importance of bringing happiness to the role of the club manager, and in particular the important function of welcoming new members. Over 70 delegates were welcomed to the session, sponsored by insurance company Circle Golf.

Development with the Confederation of Golf in Ireland, said: “This was a really inspiring programme which ignited fantastic passion and enthusiasm among all of the participants. It was wonderful to hear from such top level speakers who could offer a professional and best practice base to work from. It was also a great opportunity for delegates to establish a valuable network of support which will help them fulfil their careers in the industry. Ongoing education for club managers is key to the continuing growth and development of clubs across Ireland and I would highly recommend everyone in the industry to take part in this programme.” The next Management Development Programme in Ireland will take place in Dublin from 16-20 November, 2015.

Success for Sota! Gabriel Sota has been awarded his Club Manager Diploma at a dinner in St Andrews. Gabriel, son of Spanish European Tour winner Ramon Sota, is also a cousin of the legendary Seve Ballesteros and was moved to receive his Diploma at the venue of Ballesteros’ second of three Open Championship victories. “Seve has been an inspiration to me all of my life and to receive this accolade in St Andrews is a great honour. It has been hard work for me to achieve my Club Manager Diploma and I am looking forward to putting the education I have received through the CMAE’s Management Development Programmes to good use,” said Sota. “I must also mention my father Ramon Sota who was an inspiration for a generation of Spanish golfers and who paved the way for the great success Spanish players have achieved in the last 30 years on the European Tour. ” • For more information on MDP visit

Recruiters value CMAE Leading UK-based recruitment firms, Colt MacKenzie McNair and Timberlake Golf, have recognised the value of CMAE qualifications by including them in job adverts. Michael Braidwood, CMAE’s Director of Education said: “We are delighted to see the leading recruitment firms putting our qualifications on their job adverts as desirable requirements for prospective candidates. The club management sector for a long time has been run without recognised qualifications, so it’s great to see club industry professionals who have invested in their education having their qualifications recognised.” Ian Timberlake of Timberlake Golf said: “I recently recommended to one of my clients, when advertising for a General Manager, that we should look for candidate applications with the Certified Club Manager (CCM) qualification as a desirable requirement of their suitability. I

believe that candidates with an ambition to educate and further themselves as a club manager will be able to demonstrate higher levels of competency whilst in employment and this would directly benefit the Club.” Colt MacKenzie McNair’s Adam Keeble also believes in the value of CMAE qualifications, recommending that client’s include the qualifications as part of the candidate search. “As long-standing partners of the CMAE, we have attended a number of the management development programmes and have witnessed at first hand the quality of education being delivered,” he said. “We have great confidence in recommending to our clients that they actively seek candidates that hold the CMAE’s qualifications – the Club Manager Diploma (CMdip) and CCM – when looking to appoint managerial positions at their clubs.”

Circle Golf supports Scottish Region Three CMAE Scottish Region members attended the recent 88th World Conference on Club Management in San Antonio, Texas, thanks to a £1,500 bursary grant from insurance provider, Circle Golf. Ian Smith, Divisional Director of Circle Golf, said: “Circle Golf are delighted to sponsor Scottish club managers’ education and

supporting three club industry professionals annually to attend the World Conference really has a positive impact.” The three recipients of the bursary this year were: Gavin Cook PGA Professional of Elie Sport Club, David Brodie Club Manager of Glenbervie Golf Club and David Gemmell PGA Professional of Aberdour Golf Club.

Exam success spans two continents Derek McKenzie CCM, Thailand

Ray Mooney CCM, Ireland

Four club industry professionals have recently achieved the globally recognised benchmark of excellence in club management by passing CMAE’s Certified Club Manager (CCM) examination, raising the number of CCMs to 30 club industry professionals across Europe. Congratulations to: Derek McKenzie CCM, General Manager at Santiburi Samui Country Club, Thailand; Ray Mooney CCM, General Manager of The Stephen's Green Hibernian Club, Dublin; Richard Pennell CCM, Assistant Secretary at the New Zealand Golf Club, Surrey and Nick Solski CCM, Director of Golf at Skolkovo Golf Club, Moscow.

Richard Pennell CCM, England

Nick Solski CCM, Russia

CMAE’s Education Policy Board Chairman, Kevin Fish said: “All four have thrown themselves enthusiastically into the CMAE’s Management Development Program (MDP), and to pass this particular exam before the full MDP education pathway is available is an incredible feat which shows just how much knowledge they have gained at the coal face of club management over many years.” To date over 400 club managers have attended the MDP programme. CMAE’s MDP pathway will be completed in 2015 with the fifth and final course, Strategy and Leadership, being launched in October.

Chipping in Call to action: Joe Perdue Bursary Nigel Cartwright, Chief Executive Officer, European Club Education Foundation (ECEF), is calling on readers to join in the celebration of the life of CMAA’s Academic Advisor Joe Perdue CCM CHE by supporting a new bursary in his name. “With the untimely death of Joe Perdue still fresh in our minds, we wanted to devise a permanent memorial to Joe and have decided to do this by offering an annual award of £1,000, the Joe Perdue Bursary, which will fund a manager’s attendance at one of our MDP courses each year,” said Nigel. “To do this we need to raise the funds for 2015 and each successive year. And this is where you can help and show your support and understanding of the role Joe played here in Europe, gifting us the MDP pathway and European CCM examination. All donations will be held in a special restricted fund by ECEF, and the award made each year by a panel of three judges.” Joe – the man and his mission

CMAA’s Academic Advisor Joe Perdue, CCM, CHE, the club industry’s leading hospitality educator, died in Atlanta, GA, January 19, 2015, after a long illness. He was 64. Since 1986, Joe Perdue had served as Academic Advisor for the CMAA (Club Managers Association of America). Responsible for the initial development of CMAA’s Business Management Institute (BMI), Joe has coordinated more than 300 week-long BMI programs for more than 10,000 managers.

The Business Management Institute is a flourishing professional development program that has become one of the most well-respected education initiatives of the hospitality industry. Beyond the US, he has developed professional education programs in China, South Africa, Europe and Canada. In addition to serving as Academic Advisor, Joe held the positions of Director of Education and Vice President for CMAA, where he was responsible for all professional development and certification programs. He continued to have responsibility for overseeing CMAA’s Business Management Institute program and certification exam, study materials and certification review course. Joe was a former club manager at the Cherokee Country Club in Knoxville, TN, and had been a member of CMAA since 1981. He earned the Certified Club Manager in 1994 and became a member of the Honor Society in 2003. He also earned his Certified Hospitality Educator credentials in 2005. “Joe was a remarkable advisor, innovator and colleague,” said Kathi Driggs, CMAA’s Chief Operating Officer, who worked with Joe for 25 years. “He was the face of CMAA’s Business Management Institutes and invested countless hours into the success and growth of these programs. Joe served as a mentor and friend to many CMAA members. He was a beloved educator and an outstanding friend, admired by his students, academic peers and throughout the club industry.”

• For more details on how to get involved, turn to page 22.

Joe Perdue addresses Scholarship recipients at the 2014 World Conference on Club Management


News from the frontline Carin Koch appointed as Syngenta ambassador

British Masters returns to European Tour The British Masters returns to The European Tour International Schedule for the first time in seven years in 2015, with a quartet of Britain’s leading golfers rotating as the tournament host over the next four seasons. As a presenting sponsor of a European Tour event for the first time, Sky Sports will work with The European Tour and its leading players to engage and excite new and existing golf fans through its on-air coverage of the British Masters, giving clubs even more opportunity to draw fans of the sport through their doors. Ryder Cup players Luke Donald, Ian Poulter, Justin Rose and Lee Westwood will each take it in turn to host the prestigious tournament, last played in 2008, and will help to select the venue each year. First to assume the role will be 12-time European Tour winner Poulter, who will take the British Masters back to Woburn Golf Club from 8-11 October, 2015. The event will be staged and promoted by The European Tour and will have a prize fund of £3million. Poulter said: “It is fantastic news that the British Masters is back on The European Tour schedule and I am proud and delighted to be bringing the tournament to Woburn Golf Club, which is obviously a place that means a great deal to me. British golf has been in a good place for a number of years now with the success we have had internationally, and as players we have all been keen to get more tournaments on British soil, and in England in particular, so we are grateful to Sky Sports and The European Tour for helping to make this happen.” 8 CLUBHOUSE EUROPE

George O’Grady, Chief Executive of The European Tour, said: “The British Masters was an important fixture on The European Tour International Schedule from the Tour’s formation in 1972 through to its most recent staging in 2008, so we are naturally delighted it is returning to The Race to Dubai in 2015. “We are confident that it will prove once again to be a very popular tournament among players and spectators alike, and we are very grateful to Sky Sports, our main broadcast partner, for helping to enable this through their support of the event. “Having four of our top players and leading ambassadors – Luke Donald, Ian Poulter, Justin Rose and Lee Westwood – take on the role of tournament host will also help raise the profile of the event on its return to our calendar, and underlines the appetite among our membership for tournament golf in Britain. I am sure these players, and this tournament, will help inspire a new generation of fans to engage with golf in Britain.” David Rey, Managing Director of Sky Business, said: “As the home of televised golf, we are pleased to add yet another tournament to the calendar for our customers. It’s an event with a strong domestic draw, set to grab the attention of golf fans and encourage them to watch the action down in their local club. Previous winners of the British Masters at Woburn Golf Club include Major Champions Greg Norman (1981), Lee Trevino (1985), Seve Ballesteros (1986 and 1991), Sandy Lyle (1988), Sir Nick Faldo (1989) Ian Woosnam (1994) and Rose (2002).

Carin Koch and Simon Elsworth

Syngenta has welcomed 2015 Solheim Cup Captain and leading Ladies European Tour (LET) professional Carin Koch as its first Golf Ambassador. The multiple winner on the LET and LPGA tours will work closely with Syngenta in its ongoing support of golf clubs and courses, and its industry-wide initiatives aimed at ‘Unlocking Golf’s True Potential’, explained the company. Carin, who attended December’s launch of Syngenta’s golf market research report into female participation, The Opportunity to Grow Golf: Female Participation, said: “I’ve been impressed with Syngenta’s commitment to help golf clubs and courses gain a better understanding of what current players and prospective customers want. I have two

children and we play golf as a family. The solutions in the report and the approach Syngenta is taking, concur with my own thinking and I wanted to lend my support to a cause I wholeheartedly believe in.” Simon Elsworth, Syngenta Head of Turf & Landscape EAME, said Carin would play an important role in Syngenta’s activities. “Carin has a genuine, deeply-held desire to see more women and girls playing golf, which resonates with the opportunities highlighted by our market research,” he said. Carin joined Syngenta to discuss the report’s findings at GolfBIC 2015 (March 1617, Marriott Forest of Arden, Solihull, West Midlands). • For more information visit

Forza Italia! The CMAE delivered a successful Management Development Programme (MDP) Part 2 in Rome at the Golf Nazionale Scuola Nazionale Di Golf Suti, the Federation of Golf Italy’s National Academy. Nineteen delegates from golf clubs throughout Italy enjoyed presentations by leading educators, including Bill Sanderson, Helen Bennett and Kevin Fish CCM and carried out a case study investigation where they had to present their findings to a ‘Board’. The week-long course was underwritten and hosted by the Associazione Italiana Tecnici di Golf (AITG), members of CMAE. AITG Chairman, Riccardo Tirotti, said: “We

are delighted by the success of the MDP in Italy to date. We ran our first Part One course in April 2014 and are pleased to see so many of the delegates return. This week was well subscribed due to the quality of the education along with the fact that our delegates are seeing positive results back at their clubs” The next course being organised by AITG will be a MDP Part 1 course in early 2016. • For more information visit

Unlocking golf’s true potential Golf has an exciting potential to grow across Europe. Syngenta’s commitment to developing new innovation and support will help Golf Clubs and turf managers to enhance the whole playing experience – to attract new golfers for today, and for the future.

Syngenta UK Ltd. Registered in England No. 849037. CPC4 Capital Park, Fulbourn, Cambridge CB21 5XE. Email: Web: /


BernardGallacher on saving lives For anyone who cares about golf – and the health of golfers – it is quite instructive to listen to Bernard Gallacher’s story. “I did so last year, when Gallacher offered me a moving account of his sudden experience of suffering a cardiac arrest, and his remarkable survival thereafter,” says awardwinning Scottish sports journalist and presenter Graham Spiers.


t is an extraordinary tale. On August 29, 2013 in Aberdeen, just as Gallacher had got to his feet to make an after-dinner speech, he suddenly crumpled in front of his audience. “People tell me that I fell over like I was hit by a boxer,” said Gallacher. “I was poleaxed. I was just about to say something and then I was suddenly on the ground. And I died, medically speaking, three times.” It is because of this amazing incident that Gallacher, along with his wife, Lesley, is now zealously campaigning for a defibrillator to be in place in every golf club in Britain. The three-time Ryder Cup captain knows he would no longer be with us had it not been for the fact that, at that Aberdeen hotel where he was speaking that night, there happened to be one to hand. Warning signs? But, for background, let’s go back to the days leading up to Gallacher’s fateful cardiac arrest of 2013, and any warning signs there might have been. Warning signs? The truth is, there weren’t any... “I had a cardiac arrest rather than a heart attack – a heart-attack is associated with the plumbing of the heart, like a coronary with blocked arteries,” Gallacher explained. “Pain is associated with a heart attack. There are symptoms attached to a heart attack. You feel breathless. You don’t feel well. “But the danger of a cardiac arrest is that it just


happens. It’s about the electrical currents of the heart. It goes into a rhythm and then it stops. There would not have been many fitter than the 23-yearold footballer, Fabrice Muamba, and he would’ve been monitored regularly by his club, Bolton Wanderers. But there are no symptoms or warnings and it happened to him the same way as me. I was just about to stand up and talk at that golf function in Aberdeen. “I had come back from a family holiday in Gibraltar and flew in to Gatwick. After landing at Gatwick I went to my house in Ascot. The taxi waited while I got my stuff and then he took me to

Heathrow. I flew to Aberdeen and the guy organising the event picked me up. We had a meal. The next day I played golf with various people. I then went back to the hotel to give my speech. But my last actual memory is going into Gibraltar airport. The rest is gone. I only know now what my schedule was from speaking to others. Actually, I can’t remember any of it myself. My last memory is of flying home from that holiday in Gibraltar.” After all this, when he arrived at the Marcliffe Hotel in Aberdeen, Gallacher had no notion of the drama he was about to experience. But, funnily enough, as he explained to another reporter at The

Around 100,000 people in the UK suffer from cardiac arrest every year, and if there is a defibrillator around you have over a 50% chance of survival. If not, your chances reduce to around 5%.

Guardian last year, others could see that all was not well with him. He was about to have a cardiac arrest which would stop his heart repeatedly, and leave him in a coma for seven days. “Somehow, circumstances contrived to keep me alive,” he said. “There were two nurses at that hotel where I was speaking who knew exactly what they were doing. One nurse was actually a sister of the secretary at Bathgate [Gallacher’s first golf club]. I recently met her and, funnily enough, she thought I was slurring my speech that day. She didn’t like the look of me when I stood up. Apparently, I started to go a bit grey, and to sweat. But I can’t remember it.” As Gallacher says, he got very, very lucky. First, the hotel had a defibrillator to hand. Had it not, he would have been finished. Second, he had the great good fortune of an experienced A&E nurse also being present. “After I collapsed that nurse gave me mouth-tomouth for 20 minutes before they got the defibrillator going. Apparently, I played golf earlier that day with this guy who teaches people how to use defibrillators as part of his health and safety work. He got the hotel defibrillator working. “They had to use the defibrillator three times. A South African, Doctor Bloch, saved me three times in the ambulance. In terms of the heart not working, I really was gone. I was medically dead. But he kept me going. I was very lucky. I was in a coma for seven days.” Get a defibrillator! Gallacher in all spent nine days lost to the world – none of which he can remember now. Today he is as healthy and chirpy as a parrot, but he knows that, but for the medical equipment which was on site in Aberdeen, he would no longer be alive. His message to all golf clubs is – get a defibrillator! “I wouldn’t be here today had it not been for a defibrillator,” he says. “Around 100,000 people in the UK suffer from cardiac arrest every year, and if there is a defibrillator around you have over a 50% chance of survival. If not, your chances reduce to around 5%. Those statistics are frightening – but they inspired my wife, Lesley. She’s the driving force behind the campaign.” Donald McRae, another journalist, asked Gallacher if he was any more religious after his trauma. “I’m a Catholic and I go to church, but no, I don’t feel religious about this,” he replied. “I don’t pray any more than I used to. I know I’ve changed a little on the inside but outwardly it hasn’t – apart from the fact that I’m not allowed to drive a car any more but I don’t feel like I’m on borrowed time. People do feel immortal and it’s only when something like this happens that you consider your mortality much more closely. I’m now more aware that there is an end. I just don’t know when it will be. “I think my family – especially my wife – have been more traumatised. It was very hard for Lesley. So after I recovered she said we really need to take this opportunity to help people and have this awareness campaign to try to get a defibrillator into as many golf clubs as possible.”

Difference between a sudden cardiac arrest and a heart attack HEART ATTACK Is caused by a blockage in the artery that supplies blood to the heart. The affected heart muscle then begins to die due to lack of oxygen. Symptoms include ‘crushing’ chest pain, which can spread to the arms and jaw. The person usually remains awake and alert.

SUDDEN CARDIAC ARREST Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is a condition in which the heart stops beating suddenly and unexpectedly due to a malfunction in the heart’s electrical system. The malfunction that causes SCA is a lifethreatening abnormal heart rhythm; an arrhythmia. The most common arrhythmia is ventricular fibrillation (VF). If someone collapses, follow these simple steps... 1. DANGER: Ensure the area is safe before you approach the patient. If it is not safe or you are not sure, call an ambulance and wait for help. 2. RESPONSE: Confirm that the patient is unresponsive. Try to talk to the patient and shake their shoulders. 3. SHOUT: If the patient does not respond, shout for help, call 999 and send for an Automated External Defibrillator (AED). 4. AIRWAY AND BREATHING: Look, listen and feel to see if the patient is breathing. Ensure their airway is open and clear. 5. CPR: If the patient is not breathing, begin CPR (chest compressions). 6. DEFIBRILLATION: If an AED is available, follow the voice prompts of the device until emergency services arrive.

HOW DOES IT WORK? An Automated external defibrillator is a sophisticated, reliable, safe, computerised device that delivers electric shocks to a casualty in cardiac arrest when the ECG rhythm is one that is likely to respond to a shock. Simplicity of operation is a key feature: controls are kept to a minimum, ‘voice and visual prompts’ guide rescuers. Modern AEDs are suitable for use by both emergency first aiders as well as healthcare professionals. All AEDs analyse the casualty’s ECG rhythm and determine the need for a shock. The semi-automatic AED indicates the need for a shock, which is delivered by the rescuer, while the fully automatic AED administers the shock without the need for intervention by the rescuer. Semiautomatic AEDs with manual override have the facility to enable the operator (normally a healthcare professional) to override the device and deliver a shock manually, independently of prompts. •


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A word with...

Daniel Asis Boyer CCM Daniel Asis Boyer has been part of club life since the age of five, thanks to club-committed parents who enjoyed the leisure activities available in a secure and sociable environment. Now, he’s Director of Golf at Spain’s prestigious Oliva Nova Golf and Beach Resort. Daniel Asis Boyer CCM Job title: Director of Golf, Oliva Nova Golf Club, Valencia, Spain; Member of the CMAE and former CEO of the association of Club Managers Spain (2013) The course: 18-holes, par 72, 6,350m. Located within the five star Oliva Nova Beach & Golf Resort. The course was designed and built by Seve Ballesteros to offer ‘great possibilities to all golfers, as it has short, medium and long holes, and fairways with left and right doglegs’. The 13th, 14th and 15th – the ‘amen corner’ – are deemed the most challenging ‘where strategy and the wind are determining factors’. Other activities on site: Tennis and Padel tennis, cycling, horse riding, kite surfing, windsurfing, kayaking, surfing, waterskiing, beach volleyball, sailing, spa and fitness centre. Entertainment and children’s activities. Accommodation: Hotel, apartments and villas. Also real estate. Food & Beverage: Five restaurants, four bars. Contact details:

How did you get into the golf industry Daniel? Golf has been my passion since I started playing at the not-so-early age of 19. But clubs were the environment I grew up in from the age of five. My parents always found club life to be a safe one for my brothers and myself, and also very rewarding for their leisure time. So it can be said my life has evolved around tennis and golf clubs somehow. And before that? Right after I majored in Tourism and Business in college I was approached by a Spanish golf magazine to write an article. That led to an eight year career in golf writing. I worked as writer, photographer and editor of the largest golf magazine at the time in Spain, and attended all the major golf competitions at some of the best courses in the world. I was then offered the chance to participate in the launching of a new golf course in Madrid as Golf and Clubhouse Manager and I jumped at it! What changes have you noticed in the golf industry in Spain? Most importantly, the development of pay-andplay golf. Since I came into the business it has been very rare for a new private golf course to be created. The number of golfers has increase dramatically but almost all the courses created since 1995 are corporate owned. So-called ‘members’ still pay annual dues, but only to enjoy better playing conditions than sporadic visitors. They do not own a

share or have decision-making power over the present and future of the facility. There’s high youth unemployment in Spain. What effect is this having on the industry? From an employer’s perspective, you might expect lots of clubs to take advantage of the increased numbers of unemployed people – posting ads and trying to find the best possible candidates to substitute some of the veterans who often have high salaries. But club members and guests appreciate the value of experienced employees, capable of recognising them and also understanding the way they like to use the club facilities and activities. They don’t like to see many new faces around the locker rooms or the bag storage room, or marshalling the course. At the same time there is a very big lack of golfing culture in Spain, so it is not easy to find employees who bring some kind of golf/club background and experience to the job. But it is also true that many youngsters have very relevant qualities for coastline tourism-oriented clubs and courses; the ability to speak different languages, an easy-going manner, knowledge in computer usage, an interest in learning and a natural joy and exuberance that tourists appreciate when they travel abroad. High youth unemployment allows clubs to offer jobs to those youngsters at a low cost – although you cannot expect them to be around for very long if they don’t enjoy the challenge of a job highly related to customer service.




PADEL TENNIS – FAST FACTS What is it? Padel Tennis (not to be confused with Paddle Tennis) is typically played in doubles on an enclosed court (about half the size of a tennis court). Scoring Scoring is the same as for traditional lawn tennis. What’s different? Balls in Padel Tennis can be played off walls. Equipment Solid racquets without strings. Balls are less pressurised than standard tennis balls. Serving The height of the ball being served must be at or below the waist level. History The invention of Padel Tennis is attributed to Enrique Corcuera in 1969 (Acapulco, Mexico). Popular in Hispanic American countries and Spain, it is enjoying rapid growth across Europe. Organisations The American Paddle Association was formed in 1995 and the Padel Pro Tour (PPT) professional Padel Circuit was created in 2005. Its popularity along Spain’s Costa del Sol brought it to the attention of UK visitors, leading to the launch of the UK Padel Federation in 2011.


On golf tourism, how is Spain holding up to ever increasing competition? It is forcing every single club to try to do a better job in offering golf tourists a worthy experience. Oliva Nova, for example, is very dependent on golf tourism; our high season revolves around the time when golfers in central and northern Europe look for warm temperatures, sun, and well-conditioned courses. And we know that many courses in Spain and Southern Europe prepare very well to accommodate and make golf tourists happy, so it is a continuous challenge. We are in a good position since we are linked to a resort which offers many other activities and entertainment. And we overlook one of the longest beaches in Spain. But we do not rely only on our geographic position and every day we try to improve our facilities and services. Regarding resort-based golf operations, do you think that they help to encourage more Spanish people to take up the game? Not really. Resorts in general – and specially Oliva Nova – are positioned in the high end of the golfing scale, along with the best private clubs. This means learning golf at a resort can be expensive. But we are also aware of the social responsibility we have with the towns around us, where many of our employees and potential customers live. So we have programmes to help people come into the game at a lower cost, playing at certain times of the day, or on certain days in the week, without interrupting the game of customers paying a higher price.

How do Spaniards view the history, heritage and etiquette of the game? Even though golf is over 120 years old in Spain it is not embedded in our culture. Older players have grown in the history and tradition of the game, but those who come to golf anew are more interested in the leisure and more joyful side of it. It is common, for example, for Spaniards to cancel their round if it rains. Rain is seen as an annoying inconvenience rather than a common feature, as in, say, Scotland. What training/education have you completed specific to the golf industry? I didn’t know it then, but I am now finding that my college studies on the Tourism Industry are extremely valuable in the Spanish Golf industry nowadays. Besides that I did a masters-type course on club management. And as soon as I learned about the CCM certification I joined the Club Managers Association of America [CMAA] and the Club Managers Association of Europe [CMAE] to attend as many education programs as I could. This led to gaining my CCM certification early in 2013. And how did you first hear about the CMAE? During the first CMAA World Conference I attended, I asked how I could join the association. They told me the best way was though the regional chapter in Europe, the CMAE, which was at that time in its first stages. I didn’t join the CMAE right away – in fact I did previously create the Association of Club Managers Spain in my country – but since I joined the CMAE I have put my heart and soul into helping it achieve its goals in promoting education, professionalism and good practice amongst club managers in Europe. Any issues that are unique to Spain? The VAT raise in 2013 from 8% to 21% hurt the economic expectations for sport-related clubs. I’m afraid our neighbouring clubs in Portugal have suffered similar problems in their country, so I won’t complain too loud! Passions outside the golf industry? Dancing, movies and padel tennis. I was introduced to salsa dancing a few years ago and I have made wonderful friends and met great people. Padel tennis is a relatively new sport which is becoming extremely popular in Spain (and I recommend every club manager in Europe to consider introducing at their clubs). What support does the Spanish Government give to the golf industry? I feel ashamed to say that there is almost no support. Even though the national board for tourism considers golf a major attraction for foreign visitors we are at a huge disadvantage when dealing with water issues. It is even forbidden to post up a sign mentioning the presence of a golf course nearby. Too many politicians feel ashamed of saying they play golf, and it is extremely difficult to get permission for building new courses due to a lack of specific regulations for this kind of installations. Promoters

SPAIN Politics: Sovereign State. Population: 47.7 million. Capital: Madrid. Currency: Euro. Member of the European Union. Area: 506,000 km_ (195,400 sq miles). Spain’s 1,214 km border with Portugal is the longest uninterrupted border within the European Union. Golf clubs: Over 370 golf course. Spain is amongst the top three golf-tourism destinations in the world. can get permits to build a mall surrounded by a huge concrete parking lot far quicker than they would for a golf facility. What’s the relationship between Spain's professional associations in the golf and club industry? There in not much of a relationship, other than the heads of each association know each other and share thoughts. In other countries the national golf association has helped bring the professional associations together, but in Spain there are frictions when the professional associations ask the Federation to intervene. What other sports (other than football) have full time club managers in Spain? Ha ha!... I cannot answer that accurately. I think the sport we all enjoy the most is still golf... especially when we play on a different course than the one we work at. Are there any city clubs in Spain? Sure, but they seem to be surrounded by a different atmosphere and tradition than, say, in the UK. Almost every small city has its ‘casino’, which is not a Las Vegas or Monte Carlo-style business but an old and rather small building in the centre of the city where members meet to play cards, read the newspaper and chat while enjoying a glass of wine. Most of those members don’t know it, but they are enjoying a sort of city club. Is environmental legislation a problem? I am in favour of every effort we can make to bring together the joy of golf and the good care of the environment. But not at the cost of each another. And right now I am afraid that some environmental legislation doesn’t take into consideration the reality of the golf industry. By forbidding the use of certain affordable pesticides, while making mandatory the use of new and expensive ones, they are putting the sustainability of the business in danger, and forcing the clubs to make golf more expensive. We all know that golf can be played on brown grass, but that is not the dream picture television shows every week. Customers pay premium dollars for the pleasure of playing in PGA style facilities, and ugly courses do not diminish the difficulties of mastering the

game. So at some point every club manager of a non-wealthy club knows that pristine conditions are not affordable, and there is the risk of tourist golfers travelling to other destinations. At the end of the day, part of the problem relates to the fact that golf is too small an industry that provides very poor information about our needs and our goals. So politicians will easily place us at the end of their to-do lists. Where do you live? I’ve lived in Oliva, Valencia, since the summer of 2012. It’s five minutes walking distance from Oliva Nova Golf Club and the same distance from the beach. I have always tried to live very near the clubs I have managed. The beach here is a wonderful plus. If you didn’t work in the golf industry, what would you do? I still love writing and also teaching. I think I would increase my participation in education programmes for club managers and all those interested in the club industry. What has been the high point of your career, or what are you most proud of? I am very proud every time a customer has congratulated me or any one of my team for the good experience they’ve had. I also enjoy every time someone comes up with a complaint and we are able to turn it around and help that guest go away feeling good. A few years from now I know that achieving the CCM status will be one of the high points in my professional career, but now I am too busy to brag about it! And on top of all of that, what makes me the proudest is the good example my two sons say I have set for them (even though I now wish I had spent more time with them more often). Are you a member of any clubs and what is/has been your favourite club to be part of? I am still a member of Club de Golf La Moraleja, in Madrid. But at one point I was a member of two country clubs and one tennis club all at the same time. So I understand very well the feeling of the members towards the annual dues, the quality of the facilities, the need for excellent service...all of which my team tries hard to accomplish every day at Oliva Nova.




Don’t panic... Everything is under control – isn’t it? “Someone once referred to me as a ‘control freak’. Now, whilst I readily admit to being the latter (freak!), I would dearly like to claim to always being in the former – in control!” says CMAE MDP course provider Steven Brown.


ver many years of providing guidance and advice to purveyors of food and drink in the golfing community, I have never ceased to be amazed at the range and variety of control – or possibly the lack of it! – that I have encountered which even makes me look good! Having conducted a recent ‘Business Whealth Check’ [wealth/health] for a client, I was disconcerted to be challenged by him about my suggestion that staff should not be allowed to carry money on their person during service. Now I thought that this was a fairly basic control that all Food & Beverage (F&B) outlets adopted, understanding the reason for its inclusion in their House Rules. My


client, however, seemed to think I was suggesting that his staff were dishonest. Now, far be it from me to even suggest such a thing. But I am a great believer in the maxim that ‘prevention is better than cure’, and that to adopt such a control is simply to remove any area of ‘confusion’. But what do I know! The concern that I have for my clients is that, in many of the cases of dispute that can occur between employers and employees regarding their responsibilities and activities, I have seen far too many investigations into alleged wrong doing collapse due to the fact that no clear guideline was given by the employer as to how the employee was

meant, in all areas of working practices, to perform. Such accusations often lead in turn to a defence from staff of ‘you never told me that I had to do that!’ Even job descriptions (where they have been issued!) fail to be updated to reflect the changes that today’s operational procedures demand. Well, lets not fall foul of any future personnel minefields by reviewing the case for an Operations Manual. Throughout my working life I have been instrumental in compiling a large number of operations manuals for both individual and corporate clients and they all have one theme in common – to set out clearly stated, tried and tested working methods that identify, in great detail, every individual’s reponsibilities relating to their job. By establishing these there can never be a defence of ‘you never told me etc., etc., etc..’ So I thought it might be a good idea to give you a flavour of precisely what I’m referring to. Space in Clubhouse Europe magazine doesn’t allow me to expand greatly upon this subject – I have after all written operations manuals that range from 10 pages to 100 pages in length! But I have, for your delectation and delight, listed key pointers under each heading, in keys areas of control for F&B managers and their staff, that you might consider worthy of inclusion in your own F&B operations and control manual. And remember, all I seek to do here is to protect the rights of employers and employees alike. This is not a ‘bible’ to assist in the search for the guilty, it is a guide to provide you with key benchmarks for the performance of your staff to avoid any confusion. Here then are both suggested topics and tips. (Please note: many of the guidelines shown below are directed at line managers or supervisors but can be adapted to any job role.)

1. STOCK CONTROL • Liquor and food stocks to be obtained only from nominated suppliers. • All FREE OF CHARGE goods to be declared on the same invoices and delivery notes as all invoiced goods. • All keys to stock stores and safes to be kept on the manager’s (or nominated assistant’s) person at all times. • The manager to accompany the stock taker on all counts (but is never allowed to assist in the physical count or the recording of information). • All delivered stocks must be checked at the time of delivery and into an area away from both existing stocks and returns.

This is a guide to provide you with key benchmarks for the performance of your staff to avoid any confusion.

2. STOCK RESULTS – ANALYSIS • Managers must conduct regular line checks on a daily/weekly basis. • Reviews of actual performance of gross margin, surplus/deficit, yield and wastage against your previously set targets must be done on every stock. • Insist that your stock taker provides you with a written report after each stock detailing all concerns followed by solutions on the day of the stock take. • Ensure that your bars manager receives a copy of the stock result and that they provide you with a report detailing actions taken to improve profitability and to reduce any inefficiency detailed in the report. • Remove all slow selling lines to improve cash flow and reduce the possibility of ‘out of date’ stock scenarios. 3. CASH TRANSACTIONS • Ensure that the shift supervisor is allowed to count and sign for the float prior to trading.

• Investigate the need to re-count floats on shift change-overs. • Ensure that all change is verbally counted back into the customer’s hand. • Ensure that all change/notes are placed in the specically designated section in the till drawer. • Place large denomination notes on the top of the till (clip) until correct change has been taken and given. 4. P.D.Q. (CREDIT AND DEBIT CARDS) OPERATING PROCEDURES • All payment slip details must be confirmed prior to signature. • All completed individual slips must be retained and cross referenced with the ‘Z’ report. • All slips must be retained and stored safely for on-site inspection. • Any sales vouchers, which are subsequently rejected after banking due to incomplete details, will become the responsibility of the staff member involved in the transaction for repayment of any shortfall. • All details and transactions must be recorded daily on the administration sheet supplied for that purpose without exception. 5. COMPLAINT HANDLING • All staff must be informed of the procedure for dealing with customer complaints being fully aware of their levels of authority. • Keep a complaints record book and record all such instances. • Acknowledge all complaints calmly and politely and, if possible, away from the public’s gaze. • Staff must establish ‘fact from fantasy’ and provide outcomes to the client within their level of authority.



SPOTLIGHT ON F&B • Incentives will be offered to all staff where waste reduction is improved.

• Managers must follow up on the complaint by ensuring all staff are made aware of the incident and, where possible, ensure that no such incident can occur again.

14. TYPICAL HOUSE RULES • No mobile phones or other distractions are allowed to be used during service times. • Staff will not be allowed to carry any monies on their person during service. (I’m still sticking with this one!) • Staff will not be allowed to use the club’s stock for their own consumption but rather must use the separate stocks supplied for that purpose. • Standards of dress and appearance must be complied with as stated in the company policy. • Staff may be required to perform tasks of a nature as yet unspecified from time to time.

6. TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT • Ensure that all staff are properly inducted into their working environment to ensure both compliance and safety is assured. • Provide training support in terms of job relevance. • Keep records of all training, assessment and achievements in the personnel files • Conduct a ‘training needs analysis’ to ensure that all staff are competent at their defined job roles thus identifying where training and development is required. • Keep all training materials up to date, legal and relevant. 7. HOUSE STANDARDS • All areas accessed by customers must be cleaned/serviced to the standard laid down in the manual prior to and during service. • Chalkboards (if used) must be amended prior to service on a daily basis. • All product displays should be clean, tidy and be appropriate to the consumer profile. • No extraneous items are to be left on display on the back fitting (invoices, mobile phones, salt and pepper pots etc.). • All equipment (AWPs, coffee machines etc) to be switched on and replenished.

15. STAFF • Compile all staff rotas. • Conduct all induction programmes as laid down by the club. • Deal with all staff appointments and dismissals as required by the club. • Conduct annual appraisals. • Update Job Descriptions to reflect any changes in the job roles.

• • •

8. PREPARATION FOR SERVICE • All toilet stock to be replenished and inspected on an hourly basis. • All pump heads, glasses, optics, cutlery and surfaces to be cleaned and polished. • All containers and casks readied for dispense. • All shelves stocked up and products rotated. • All condiments, serviettes, ice and fruits ready for service. 9. CLOSING PROCEDURES • Leave till drawers open to reveal no money contained within. • Hard peg cask beers on tap (turn off CO2) on keg beers). • Reconcile cash to till and record any ‘ups and downs’ on the appropriate form. • Secure all customer areas. • Lock all doors and set alarms. 10. ENERGY CHECKS • Ensure all time clocks/thermostats are set to reduce waste. • Use low wattage bulbs where appropriate. • Ensure kitchen and coffee equipment is turned on in sufficient time to prepare for orders but switched off when not in use. • Turn off all lights when leaving rooms. • Do not leave TV/videos on standby; turn them off. 11. EXTERIOR • Ensure it is clean, tidy and free from weeds and


discarded tobacco products. Ensure safety to comply with duty of care. (Display appropriate disclaimer notices.) Display all relevant exterior signage to promote sales of food and beverage. See external areas are lit and in good working order. Review the efficiency of directional signage (e.g. entrance, pro shop, driving range, bar and restaurant etc).

12. EPOS TILLS • Ensure each screen has a listing for ALL products sold to avoid cross ringing. • Ensure that price changes are recorded immediately (back office systems or at the till). • Give clear instructions to all staff as to all relevant functions of the till operation. • Management to access and utilise all relevant data available from the till to manage the business correctly. • Staff are to use only the fob or swipe card allocated to them. In addition they are to surrender this to management at the end of each shift. If staff loose their fob/card they will pay for its replacement. 13. RECORDING OF WASTE PRODUCT • All liquor and food waste is to be recorded (by manager only) on the properly constructed waste record sheet and on a daily basis. • Targets to be set regarding acceptable levels of waste (e.g. pipe cleaning, drip tray waste etc.) and these are to be monitored weekly. • Staff are to be informed of poor performance relating to stock losses. • Continuous stock losses due to staff inefficiency will be deducted from salary.

16. BUSINESS CONTROLS • To discuss, agree and implement all targets relating to gross margins, wage percentages, wasteage levels, yields etc. • To assist management in compiling the budgets for each year. • To submit costed proposals for any equipment replacements needed. • To negotiate, or assist in negotiating, all wholesale packages with suppliers on a continual basis. • To identify cost saving and efficiency practices designed to increase productivity. And breathe! Now that isn’t everything by any stretch of the imagination but it does give you a flavour of how better to control the business and guide your personnel. Are some of the things mentioned symptomatic of taking a sledgehammer to crack a nut? Quite possibly, but all I will say is, how bad is the problem? If you don’t have a control or operations manual (total or even partial) then how can you reasonably expect people to perform to measurable standards? You need accountability for all concerned and by adopting an operations manual you will at least begin the process of becoming a control freak like me and look at how well I’ve turned out! I’m ready for my tablets now nurse!

CONTACT DETAILS Your can contact Steven Brown, Supreme Commander of INN-FORMATION at any of the below. t. 01604 843163/07785 276320 e.



Golf Club of the year 2015

DEADLINE : JUNE 12, 2015

Could YOU be our Golf Club of the Year? The Club Awards are now in their 23rd year. And we want you to join us! Taking place in Manchester on November 26 at the prestigious Palace Hotel, the Awards celebrate the best of the best in the UK. Could you be joining us there? Just use this Express Entry form to find out! ENTRY FORM – GOLF CLUB OF THE YEAR Please enter my club for the 2015 Club Awards

I would like to enter ■ Golf Club of the Year

Name: _______________________________________________ Please also consider me for: Job title: _____________________________________________

■ Best Business Initiative of the Year

■ Clubhouse of the Year

Club Name: ___________________________________________

■ Best Green Club of the Year

■ Grounds Team of the Year

Address: _____________________________________________

■ Best Marketing Initiative of the Year


■ Best Membership Initiative of the Year

_____________________________ Post code: ______________

■ Catering Club of the Year

■ Golf Group of the Year ■ Marketing Club of the Year ■ Manager/Secretary of the Year ■ Refurbishment of the Year ■ Steward of the Year ■ Website of the Year

Contact tel nos: _______________________________________ Email address: ________________________________________ Please send this entry form and any supporting documentation (e.g: details of the club, any photos, local press coverage, testimonials, flyers, menus) to Club Awards (details to the right).

By email: By fax: 01753 272021 By post: Golf Club of the Year, Club Awards, Gainsborough House, 59/60 Thames Street, Windsor, Berks SL4 1TX t. 01753 272022

DEADLINE: JUNE 12, 2015 – 01753 272022 <

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San Antonio The 88th World Conference on Club Management and the Club Business Expo took place in San Antonio, Texas, and was enjoyed by 2500 delegates of which over 50 came from Europe.


t this year’s World Conference, the CMAE was officially represented by President Arnaldo Cocuzza, six Board members and Director of Education Michael Braidwood. So what did the Conference mean? And what learnings were taken from this important annual event? We put that question to CMAE’s attendees. Javier Reviriego, General Manager, Real Club Valderrama This was my 11th Conference. I believe the general ambience has improved in the last two years. There seems to be a more positive outlook on the industry in general. I was happy to see that the general education sessions were more “condensed” (and easier to attend than other years). I was also happy to see the new format of the International Breakfast – much more dynamic. The best education session I attended was the CEO panel, a very interesting discussion about the future of golf with the CEOs from USGA, PGA, GCSSA and CMAA. Fantastic ! Whilst in San Antonio I took time to visit and play TPC San Antonio. The course was getting ready for the Valero Texas Open [Editor’s note: March’s PGA Tour Event was won by America’s Jimmy Walker] and was in exceptional condition.

reflections Michael Braidwood CCM, Director of Education, CMAE This was my second World Conference and my first one attending in an official capacity. I found some of the meetings with my CMAA counterparts extremely interesting and it was good to get a first hand understanding of CMAA’s international strategy. An excellent meeting I attended was the International Certification meeting which brought together all of the countries and regions who are delivering Business Management Institute programmes (BMIs) and Management Development Programmes (MDPs) as well as offering the Certified Club Manager (CCM) qualification. It was interesting to learn of their respective progress and challenges. The Chinese in particular have made great strides over the last 10 years with their BMI programmes and now have over 30 members with the CCM designation. One of the most impactful education sessions I attended was delivered by former National Memory Champion, Ron White. Ron impressed everyone with his powers of memory, but also gave some great advice on improving your memory capacity. A straight forward process of “Focus, File, Picture, Glue, Review”, that, with a bit of practice, should see you remembering all of your members’ names and much, much more!

Michael Braidwood receiving his CCM certificate from CMAA President Damon Di Orio Whilst at the World Conference our Education Policy Board Chair Kevin Fish and Vice Chair James Burns arranged for me to receive my CCM certificate at the CMAA President’s Reception for International Delegates; it was lovely to get the recognition in front of our European members. Daniel Asis, General Manager, Oliva Nova Resort, Spain The 2015 World Conference was a great display of education and networking opportunities. For me it created a wonderful chance to dig into ideas and business opportunities at the Club Business Expo. I really derived great benefit from Jeffrey Kreafle’s session on budgeting. He provided full details and



WORLD CONFERENCE templates of his budgeting, tracking and communication systems with the treasurer and the Board, which I found highly professional, advanced and educating. I also found The International Symposium very valuable this year. The presentations by New Zealand and Finland were enlightening, and so was the opportunity to talk to and learn from the representatives of these countries. During networking sessions I had interesting conversations with various friends who had recently moved to GM positions at other clubs and shared their personal and professional experiences. Away from the Conference I took time to visit Top Golf and the basketball arena of the San Antonio Spurs. This reminded me of how often we forget that we do not sell a golf course or a fine dining room, but the opportunity for our clients to enjoy themselves, have fun and collect a memorable experience with their family and friends. Nigel Cartwright, CEO, European Club Education Foundation My general impression of this year’s Conference was that it was positive and engaged with plenty of great speakers in a good venue. The most valuable presentation for me was Hallmarks of a Successful Tennis Programme given by Peter Burwash who covered all qualities needed in your tennis coach – not only teaching skills but as a public relations ambassador for your club. Other activities I partook in whilst there were – in my role as CEO of the European Club Education Foundation – meeting up with Jim Singerling and George and Linda Carroll of the Club Foundation for discussions on closer cooperation between our two organisations.

Sharing experiences is all part and parcel of Conference, so a number of guests took time out to visit Top Golf (pictured here) and TPC San Antonio (previous page). TPC was preparing for the Valero Texas Open at the time (note the welcoming bunker in the middle of the green!). Kevin Fish, Chairman, CMAE Education Policy Board / Scottish Golf Club Development Manager As 14 Scottish-based delegates debriefed over a beer in San Antonio, it was great to hear them each reflecting on which of the great lessons that they had learned at Conference they would be choosing to speak on at the CMAE Scotland evening seminar in October. All 14 have agreed to address those Scottish managers who were not able to travel to America so that they can share the one big “take away” that has made the biggest difference to their progress. This is a regular occurrence in Scotland now, and each manager is competing to see who the audience feels gave them the greatest take away! Needless to say Scotland is delighted to open its doors to any keen manager who would like to come along to this informal event on the evening of Wednesday 28 October, 2015. For details just con-

tact John Duncan at . Arnaldo Cocuzza, President, CMAE The CMAA World Conference has again been a learning, networking and energizing experience. My deep appreciation goes to our CMAA friends who make it a success, year after year; they are the reason why anyone who goes once goes back again. The memory I particularly brought home this year – apart from the nearly 20 hours of education – is the large delegation of Chinese colleagues awarded with the CCM diploma. It is truly amazing to see the worldwide value this recognition has gained in 50 years and the cultural efforts put in the professional advancement by Asian club managers. Like Daniel, whilst in San Antonio I took time to visit Top Golf, which was very impressive and an engaging concept; great to see so many new golfers trying out the game.

Just an early morning jog for Joe Perdue? The Conference’s opening ceremony held a touching memorial to celebrate the life of recently passed Joe Perdue, with friends and colleagues sharing memories and highlighting the significant impact he has had on club manager education – both in the US and internationally. Here, Nigel Cartwright, CEO of the European Club Education Foundation, reflects on the early morning “Run with the Presidents” event where he ran to raise funds for the Joe Perdue Bursary. It’s 5.45am in San Antonio and 200 World Conference delegates, lycra clad, are excitedly gathering in the hotel lobby. Ten minutes later we’ve walked to the starting line for the 2015 “Run with the Presidents”. With disco music blaring, our fitness trainer gives us a fun warm-up routine while we all wonder why we woke up so early today! CMAA’s new CEO, Jeff Morgan is with us, together with CMAE President Arnaldo Cocuzza and several other CMAE members. At 6.30am the starter’s horn blasts and we’re off. Four young interns (students) sprint off (must be Olympic hopefuls – we never see them again!) while the rest of us gasp our way around the course, joints creaking, legs aching. The run was expected to be 5k but thankfully the finish line arrives early, after just 4k. In the main race – amazingly! – I am first over the line in a time of 17 minutes, 26 seconds, with Arnaldo a couple of minutes behind me coming in a very creditable 14th. And now the important part! Thanks to all of you who sponsored me in the run! This, plus the generous

sponsorship from the English, Irish and Scottish Regions of CMAE, plus the Scottish Golf Union and many CMAE delegates and friends at Conference, this means we have raised a total of £2,567.95 towards our Joe Perdue Bursary. This will allow us to award the Bursary in 2015 and 2016. CALL TO ACTION – THE WORK KEEPS ON GOING The money raised at Conference is a great start. But the work keeps on going. We want to ensure that the Joe Perdue Bursary becomes an annual award for at least three years, so I am asking you, as a CMAE member, who has or will participate in our top class education programmes, to think of one of our key inspirations, Joe Perdue, and to send your contribution to the European Club Education Foundation (ECEF). Full details of its NatWest bank account are given below, so please, give now and help fund the future of club manager education. Thank you! Nigel Cartwright Chief Executive Officer, European Club Education Foundation

The European Club Education Foundation (ECEF) Nat West Bank Bank Account No: 52217337 Sort Code: 60-14-05 IBAN: GB78NWBK 60140552217337 SWIFT (BIC) Code: NWBKGB2L




Corporate travel and the benefits of using a travel management company Most travellers have a common goal; to be able to book a journey that is tailored to their individual needs and get from A to B in the most cost effective and efficient manner possible. Today, with current technology – smartphones, laptops, tablets etc. – booking travel is perceived to be a simple and speedy process. Unfortunately even with the internet at our fingertips, booking a suitable journey can still be quite time consuming, tricky and a fragmented process, says Michael O’Mara, Director, travelharbour.


lot of companies rely on their own staff to make travel arrangements on-line, but doing so is not always the most cost effective solution. Using highly skilled employees to book travel arrangements means a loss in time, productivity and revenue. By using a travel management company it can take away the headache, time and effort spent trawling through websites, freeing up valuable time for individuals to concentrate on their actual job. Whilst company staff (be it travel coordinators, business travellers or personal assistants) are able to comparison shop using the internet, it is unrealistic to expect staff to be able to source the range of fares and special deals that are often available to specialist travel management companies. travelharbour is a full service travel management company established in 2002 and I’m delighted that we’re now working with the CMAE as an official supplier. We have a dedicated team offering a personalised service that you won’t get dealing with a call centre. As members

of the Advantage Focus Partnership (the largest consortium of independent travel agents in the UK) we have the buying power to compete with large multinational agencies and access to specially negotiated fares with over 50 airlines as well as preferential hotel and car hire rates worldwide. In addition to regular travel arrangements we can assist with club conferences, meetings and events, group incentives/training trips, team building and corporate hospitality either overseas or in the UK. We are fully licensed with IATA, ABTA and ATOL and with our 365 days per year emergency out of hour’s service you get invaluable peace of mind. We have been working with the CMAE board on travel plans for various meetings and events for 2015. Should you have any travel or event plans you wish to discuss please direct any initial enquiries to me personally, email or call 020 8949 8080.

Loake have been dealing with travelharbour now for several years, and their service has always been first class. Information on travel bookings for both Hotels and Flights is always quick and advice on planning my itineraries to get the best value for money is much appreciated. Loake work on a tight budget for foreign travel so travelharbour’s role is to make the travel budget go as far as possible! travelharbour stay in constant touch when trips are in progress to advise of any schedule changes etc. making sure I am always kept well informed during my travels. M Hadden, International Manager, Loake Shoemakers

Having travelharbour organise all my personal and business travel arrangements over the last few years has saved me so much time and I suspect money as well! Michael, Tony and the team give such a friendly and efficient service. It’s great just to ring up and give the basic details of where and when I want to go and they fill in all the gaps. I know my CMAE colleagues are all benefitting now as well so thoroughly recommend them.

Marc Newey, Chief Executive Roehampton Club/Vice President CMAE

CONTACT DETAILS e. t. 020 8949 8080



Spotlight on

Gleneagles Last year was a landmark year for Gleneagles. Not only did it host The Ryder Cup, but the iconic club also celebrated its 90th anniversary. So just what makes this such a special place?


leneagles’ history makes for fascinating reading. It was the brainchild of one Donald Matheson, General Manager of the Caledonian Railway Company. His railway line ran right through the valley and, so impressed was he by the countryside, he envisaged building a large country house hotel with golf as its hook. James Braid, winner of five Open Championships between 1901 and 1910, was commissioned to create the King’s and Queen’s Courses which opened in 1919. In 1928 the nine-hole ‘Wee Course’, opened. This was later converted to 18 holes (1974) and renamed Prince’s. A fourth course, Glendevon, was

opened in 1980. The following decade saw Jack Nicklaus create the Monarch’s Course from the Glendevon as well as some holes of the Prince’s Course. (The remaining holes of the Prince’s Course were incorporated into a new nine-hole ‘Wee Course’, designed by the Gleneagles greenkeepers.) The Monarch’s Course was itself renamed in 2001, becoming The PGA Centenary Course in celebration of The Professional Golfers’ Association’s centenary. (This is where the 2014 Ryder Cup action took place.) Gleneagles also has an 11 acre championship practice ground, as well as several putting greens

and is the chosen venue for the PGA National Academy for Scotland. Shooting, riding, falconry, a Gundog school and off-road driving are just some of the many other activities available on site, while corporate events, weddings, lodges for rent and sale and exclusive shops all add to the overall experience. Green fees vary from £30 to £180 (with special offers available plus discounts for hotel guests) and a range of memberships are available. An individual, for example, can join for £2,650 + a joining fee of £600, while international membership (including five night accommodation at the hotel) is £3,380 with a joining fee of £500.




Selling membership – and closing the deal It is really important in these challenging times to have a robust process to your membership sales, says CMAE’s Director of Education Mike Braidwood. Success will be based on process and professionalism. This process should be written down and your staff trained on it fully.


y having a process for selling memberships you ensure consistency in your messaging and you can also impress the prospective member by appearing prepared and professional. Best of all, you have rehearsed all of the benefits of your club and you can have answers to all the potential questions or objections that you might face. Here is a robust 10 step plan which will guarantee that you turn many more of your membership enquiries into a closed sale. 1. Ask the prospective member to fill out a brief application form in advance. By doing this you have moved the prospective member closer to joining already, and you have


gathered their data. At the end of the show round you have a document that you could ask them to sign to conclude the deal! 2. Qualify them It is important to qualify your prospect quickly, so have a few quick questions ready at the beginning to ascertain their potential position. You might want to do this over a cup of coffee in your office or when they are filling out the application form. For example Q: Are you currently a member of a club? Q: Are you new to the area? Q: Are you considering joining any other clubs in the area?

3. Start the show round process by telling them exactly what is going to happen Inform the prospective member that: they can stop the tour at any stage if they don’t think the club is for them; they can ask questions at any time; and you will ask them to sign up at the end. In this way both you and the prospective member are clear of the process that is about to happen or take place (instead of happen). They are most likely looking at a number of golf club options, so you want to try your utmost to close the deal on this occasion. 4. Build up a rapport – find out more about the prospective member During your show round you need to quickly establish what interests your prospective member and

what they are looking for out of a club membership. You then need to tailor your tour and benefits to their needs – do not lie! But emphasis the things they like. If, for example, they are competitive, you might want to pause in the show round by the club notice boards to demonstrate how many competitions you run. Prepare as many questions as possible in order to find out more about them. 5. Prepare your presentation You must present at least 10 good reasons for a prospective member to join your club. Have the questions prepared on index cards so you can prepare for each category of prospective member, for example: good player; bad player; social; non-social; kids; no kids; corporate (up sell networking) etc. Your club will have many plus points in various capacities and you need to bring the right ones to the forefront. There is little point discussing your great junior program to someone who has no kids. To identify each prospective members category, you need to gather information on them quickly. 6. Prepare a sales script and practice it It is vital that your show round is scripted, practiced and shared amongst the management team so you are all selling the same benefits and giving consistent information. You need to have your statistics and facts 100% correct, because it is likely your prospect has done their research on the web and will know a lot more about your product than you think. It is also impressive for the prospect if you know minute details about your facilities. Know your stuff: • Club inception / history • Course lengths, SSS / slope ratings • Key club events

• • • • • • •

Size of function space Type of grasses on the course Number of members Popular playing times Catering hours Emphasise membership benefits Any other information you feel is relevant to your club

7. Carefully structure a club tour with key touch points Show your facility round in its best light. Some 90% of your show rounds will be pre-booked, thus giving you a chance to control the experience and check the show round route in advance to ensure it is perfect. Also brief other team members in advance that you will be doing a prospective member show round so they are on their A+ game(although this should be happening all the time!). There is no point in taking a prospective member on a show round if the bar is shut or they are struggling with service delivery. Likewise, avoid show rounds when the greens have just been hollow cored! 8. Prepare answers to objection questions It is important that you and your team prepare answers to potential objection questions. Brain storm these and keep adding to the list if and when you get new. Here are some examples: Q: “I understand the course down the road is 20% cheaper.” A: “Why do you think that is?” Some objection questions are going to be hard to answer, so in these circumstances answer the question with another question. What you have

to avoid is arguing with the prospect or getting into a lengthy debate over one of their points. Q: “Your club is expensive.” A: “Compared to what?” You have no idea what price sensitivities your prospects have, so if you ask them what they are comparing it to it gives you a better chance to respond to a specific statement rather than a general one. Q: “Word has it that not all of your members are happy.” A: “I am surprised to hear you say that. Our member surveys, focus groups, etc, are showing that we have 90%+ member satisfaction.” Q: “What sort of deal can you do for me?” A: “We have a number of introductory offers. Let me talk you thorough them...” You will inevitably be asked for discount or some form of deal, so you had better have these “deals” prepared in advance and agreed with your Board / Committee. 9. Have a closing wrap up/summary prepared Like a lawyer in a court room, you need to have a good summary wrap up prepared. This needs to reinforce all of the positives that had impressed the prospective member, whilst reiterating the key reasons they have been thinking of joining your club. It might be a good idea to do this in a comfortable surrounding within the clubhouse or your office and have the prospect sitting down, so they can’t walk away... For example: “Well that’s the end of our membership tour of club X and I am sure you will agree with me that the club appears to tick all of your boxes. I am confident that you are going to enjoy the competitive environment the club provides, whilst your son will really enjoy the complimentary junior lessons we offer each Sunday morning. “I am glad you think you will use our F&B offering and yes, the Sunday brunch is a great way to get your entire family down to the club.” A statement like this just reinforces all of the positives. 10. Invite them to join Finally, after your show round, invite them to join the club. It is a well known statistic that the highest percentage of people joining clubs are invited Therefore, who better to offer this invitation than the club manager! Quite simply, say “thank you for your time today, we would be delighted for you to join club X”. Remember, preparation is the key. If you are not prepared and do not have all the answers, leaving you to say to the prospective member “I will have to get back to you”, then you add the risk that they are going to leave without joining. And they may never come back.




A word with... Michael Braidwood CCM Introducing CMAE’s new Director of Education. CLUBHOUSE EUROPE welcomes Michael Braidwood and finds out just what makes him tick. From Crieff Golf Club and Gleneagles in Scotland to Riffa Golf Club in Bahrain and a stint in Russia, Michael has much experience to share – and he’s determined to do just that! Read on... Michael Braidwood CCM Michael, Director of Education for the CMAE, is responsible for the on-going roll out and delivery of the CMAE’s Management Development Programmes. A Certified Club Manager (CCM) and Advanced Fellow of the PGA, Michael is a very experienced Golf Industry Professional. Michael has a solid educational background and qualified to be an assessor for the PGA’s Director of Golf programme in 2012. Michael’s previous experiences have seen him hold the following positions: Operations Director for Braemar Golf Developments (2010 – 2014), where he was responsible for all of Braemar Golf’s projects that were operational. This saw him working on projects in Russia, Bulgaria, Bahrain, Oman and the UK. Prior to that, Michael was the CEO of Bahrain International Golf Course Company (2008 – 2010) overseeing four business units and representing their interests in the Riffa Views development project. Before being promoted to CEO, Michael was General Manager of the Riffa Golf Club, Bahrain (1998 – 2008). This semi private golf club hosted multiple events, including the European Seniors Tour, Tour Championship on two occasions and the PGA’s Pro Captain Challenge on six occasions. Before moving to Bahrain, Michael was a Golf Professional at The Gleneagles Hotel, Scotland. Michael has recently completed a two year assignment in Russia overseeing the opening of Roman Abramovich’s Skolkovo Golf Club. He is married to Judy and has two children Ben (16) and Hannah (14). His hobbies include golf, cooking, cycling and family time.


Michael – let’s start at the very beginning! Where did you grow up? I grew up in Fife, Scotland and went to secondary school at Madras College St Andrews, Funnily enough the school was not that much into golf! And what was your first job? My first job was working at Crieff Golf Club for the infamous Professional John Stark for a summer. I learnt lots in such a short space of time, some best practice and some of John’s own techniques! However, I wanted to play more golf so I left and got a job in a hotel which had better shift patterns to allow me to play more. Again I learnt a lot about the hospitality industry in the two years I was there. I then got a ‘real’ job working for the Royal Bank of Scotland, which I hated ! So I left quickly and went back into golf taking a job as an Assistant Pro to Kevin Stables at Montrose Links. I did my PGA training there and Kevin gave me a lot of responsibility so I could learn the ins and outs of the business quickly – great training. Most enjoyable job to date? My most enjoyable job was working for Gleneagles Hotel for four years. I was part of a team that set up their first Golf Academy. Gleneagles was such a progressive employer and gave me a lot of training and an opportunity to learn more about the hotel business. Every day was different. I worked with a great fun team – and who could not be motivated each day working in such a beautiful location. Most exciting? The most exciting times I had was when I was General Manager of Riffa Golf Club in Bahrain. I was a young GM (only 28) when I was set the challenge of opening up the country’s first grass golf course (they had two existing sand courses). I really didn’t know what I was doing, so I made it up as I went along! I made some really good decisions and learnt a lot, but I made many, many bad decisions. However, the club preformed well and was very popular so I my good decisions must have out weighed the bad ones!

Most challenging? My most challenging job was again in Bahrain. After running the Riffa Golf Club for seven years our owning company embarked on a very ambitious project to re develop the whole golf club and create a 1,000 property community (Riffa Views) with a new clubhouse, leisure club and re designed golf course. We did this in a joint venture with a local Islamic Bank Arcapita. (Unfortunately we were the minority shareholder so most of the decisions went the Banks way!). It was tough times trying to keep the local golf community happy during the redevelopment phase and the re opening was even more challenging as the course was not really ready and it was surrounded by 1,000 incomplete houses, so in effect we opened a very high-end, incomplete golf course in the middle of a building site! (And all this in the middle of the global financial crisis!) At the end of the project? I used to joke that we all got first class honours from the “University of Riffa Views”. It was centainly an education you could never pay for ! Also, for the last two years I worked in Russia doing the pre opening of Skolkovo Golf Club in Moscow. I found the role quite challenging due to my Russian language skills not being up to scratch (not from a lack of effort I might add!). It was interesting to see that no matter how much knowledge or experience you may have, if you cannot communicate it to team members in a way they understand, then that knowledge and information is useless. Anything in your career you would do differently? Yes! Plenty! For a long time I thought I had to have all the answers. Now I know that it is a lifetime of learning. I was too slow in asking for advice from more experienced people and would rather struggle through on my own. I am still a bit guilty of this today! Who’s been the biggest influence in your working life? Unfortunately I never had a mentor. I had some good bosses when I was young, but I got a big job


What book are you reading? I have just finished the Talent Code by Daniel Coyle which was an interesting read that argues that people are not born with talent, it is developed. For a bit of inspiration I have just started Seve Ballesteros’ autobiography; hopefully this will have a positive impact on my golf this season! All time favourite film? I’m not a big film watcher – I can’t sit still for that long. I will watch the occasional film with my son – Batman Returns, stuff like that. What is the first record you ever bought? I think it was Vienna by Midge Ure, but I soon grew out of that sort of thing and started listening to Punk music, so the next records were by the Clash, Sex Pistols, Stranglers etc. Last film/concert/live event you attended? The last live ‘event’ I attended was the Scottish Football League Cup final in March, Dundee United v Celtic (does that count as an event?); Celtic deservedly won 2 - 0. when I was 28 and had no one to follow after that. I have always felt that this is something missing from my life. What do you most look forward at the start of the week? Working in the club industry as a Pro then a Manager I always worked on weekends, so Monday might often be a day off. Now I work more regular hours (and have got over the guilt of not working weekends!) Monday mornings are the start of a new week of planning ahead. I am quite structured in my role and plan ahead. I look forward to lots of things, but I particularly look forward to moving CMAE’s education product forward every week and making it more accessible to more club industry professionals. And what don’t you enjoy? I am okay with most tasks and will tackle them all. I get frustrated waiting for people to get back to me as that can slow me down! What inspired you to join CMAE? I joined CMAE because I really loved the Management Development Programmes that I had attended previously. I think it is important that you

believe in the products of the company or organisation you work for. I enjoy learning and I enjoy seeing people doing well and progressing, so this job gives me all of this. Also I have come from a predominantly golf background and I am interested to learn more about how other types of club operate. And what are your goals for CMAE? I am really looking forward to growing the delivery of our Management Development Programmes across Europe. I am keen to tailor our delivery to suit certain markets, cultures and languages. I would like to see our Club Manager Diploma be recognised as the standard that all club managers should obtain and would like to encourage more club managers to take their education further and become Certified Club Managers (CCM). We currently have 34 CCMs in Europe: I would love to get that to over 100 ! I am also keen to see club manager jobs going to appropriately experienced and qualified club industry professionals. There are many people out there who have spent a lifetime working in the club environment and who are passionate about their subject matter. These are the people with the experience and depth of knowledge that will see clubs prosper.

What gadgets couldn’t you live without? My lap top is my work life, so I need that. I have an iPhone and I used a lot of the apps whilst living in Russia, but I don’t use it so much now. If you had to choose five items of food to live on for a week (calories no issue) what would they be? Salad. It’s really sad, but I love salad and have it with my dinner almost every night! The other four would be red grapefruit, chicken, rib eye steak and potatoes. Favourite tipple for relaxing after a hard day? I really like beer. I’d tend to go for a Tennents lager (which is Scottish), but I do like trying out any type of beer. How do you unwind? I like staying active to unwind, so it can be a combination of cooking, golf, gardening, DIY, cleaning and cycling.



Revenue raiser –

mobile refreshment Maximising revenue from the golf course is one of the Club Manager’s prime tasks and E-Z-GO, through their Cushman brand, has provided a means for this to become a reality.


he Cushman Refresher FS2 mobile refreshment vehicle, distributed in UK by Ransomes Jacobsen Ltd, features the latest FlexServe Technology; a new point-of-sale concept designed to increase revenue for the golf course operator. The revenue-generating modular system of the FS2 has been exclusively developed for Cushman by a leading design house specialising in the concept, design and manufacture of food-and-beverage units for golf vehicles. With 40% more merchandising space than its predecessor, the EZ-GO Refresher 1200, the FS2’s new point-of-sale design can significantly improve merchandising profitability. The modular design allows a course to customise the Refresher FS2 within minutes to accommodate a variety of products, from hot food to cold drinks to clothing. Designed with a modern three metre, wraparound counter with facings featuring a Platinum finish, the Refresher FS2 demands the attention of golfers when out on the course, around the club or providing beverage service at special events. One of the unique features of the FS2 is an adaptable rear section that has a flexible display area perfect for morning coffee or afternoon beverages. A reversible insert allows for fast changeover from coffee pots to bottles that accommodates any situation or special event, such as golf tournaments or even wedding receptions. Two 3-litre hot beverage pots come standard with the unit as well as shelves at the rear and on the inside of doors to hold mini bottles, mixers, creamer and napkins. Two side cabinets are located in the lower rear area that can be used for storing cleaning products and supplies. A 0.085 cubic metre waste and recycle storage capacity with two removable plastic bins is standard to the FS2, a “green” feature not found on any other refreshment vehicle within the industry. And possibly most important, this feature


makes room for the next round of drinks on the golf car. The three metre, U-shaped polar white counter wraps around the unit, providing plenty of space for preparation of drinks and meals as well as displaying other merchandise. The counter is made of a durable material that withstands the

weather as well as the daily trips around and along the fairways. The new design of the Refresher FS2 has significantly more storage space than previous models or competitive units, thereby eliminating unusable or wasted space. Two large full-extension sliding drawers allow for fast and easy access to products to speed up pace of play. Each drawer has a built-in locking mechanism as an added safety feature and is insulated to handle beverages and hot and cold products. Additionally, each drawer can be fitted with optional sanitation-certified inserts designed to store and serve consumable ice. In reality, all stock is very easily accessible. The standard FS2 unit contains three glazed storage modules that provide 600mm x 760mm of highly visible merchandising space. The snack module features one dual-sided pullout pegboard that provides a visual display to drive impulse purchases. The snack module is fit-

Three glazed storage units come as standard

ted with hooks (6), baskets (2) and crisp strips (2). A further storage module contains five racks with plenty of space to store an assortment of beverage cups. The larger merchandise display module is located on both sides of the unit. Each cabinet is fitted with 4 adjustable shelves. And for even more storage space, cabinets are located alongside both drawers of the unit, each holding three pullout snack trays. At the front of the vehicle, the front bumper fairings have been designed to protect the driver and passenger from dirt and water by dispersing water away from the cabin. The rugged front end is highly durable with automotive-quality paint finish for maximum strength and resistance to fading. The lights are positioned to optimise light dispersion around the vehicle, for enhanced visibility and safety and optional high-output LED headlamps provides even greater lighting performance. The Refresher FS2 is powered by a 13.5 hp, 401cc Kawasaki petrol engine, the industry leader in power and torque. A new suspension keeps the Refresher FS2’s ride smooth and comfortable

throughout the long days on the course. Completing the standard FS2 unit is a removable, water-resistant, slate-coloured canopy with a sleek design that allows for easy cleaning and changing out for special events. Due to its modular design there are multiple upgrades available: • Additional display modules include a 450mm display module, 300mm wedge shelves, coffee/creamer serving caddie, sweet and sandwich trays, NSF inserts and even a humidor! • An optional limited-slip differential greatly improves traction on wet or loose terrain, while helping to protect turf from damage due to wheel slippage. The Refresher FS2 has been designed to be an extension of a Clubhouse and Pro shop. It will greatly enhance the on-course experience of the golfer with the opportunity to take profit margins to new levels. There is no other product in the golf industry with the flexibility and revenue-generating power of the Refresher FS2.

CONTACT DETAILS For more information visit UK ADDRESS Ransomes Jacobsen Ltd. West Road, Ransomes Europark, Ipswich, Suffolk IP3 9TT t. +44 1473 270000




FootGolf – a footfall raiser? There’s something strange going on in golf clubs around the globe. Do your eyes deceive you? Or is that actually a football being kicked towards the 18th? Welcome to the world of FootGolf!


arly in 2014 the PGA of America announced the formation of a PGA Task Force to grow the game of golf through non-traditional means. “The golf experience needs to be redefined. For many people the traditional 18-hole round simply doesn’t work. With the industry at a critical juncture of growth it is our responsibility to consider any and all potential alternatives to enhance the consumer’s enjoyment of the game,” said Ted Bishop, President of the PGA of America at that time. Perhaps it’s not surprising, then, that FootGolf really caught the attention of the task force as an innovative and unconventional way to help grow interest in golf. “The thing that excites me is you’ve got the chance to bring people in who are soccer crazy and to give them the opportunity to go to a golf course, experience things at the course,” said Bishop. “And I think it would be ludicrous to

think that at least a percentage of these people won’t say, ‘Hey you know what? I might try to play golf ’. ” So what exactly is FootGolf? The origins of FootGolf are slightly obscure, but the first recorded 9 hole FootGolf tournament on a golf course in its current form was organised in the Netherlands in 2009, the year that the International FootGolf Association (IFGA) was established. Belgium and Hungary soon moved the game from parks to golf courses, with Argentina following suit in 2010 and the American FootGolf League in 2011. In June 2012, the Federation for International FootGolf (FIFG) was formed – now recognised as the governing body for the sport – and, as more countries joined in the excitement, the game continued to grow, with the first World Cup taking place in Budapest, Hungary, in June 2012.














Puerto Rico

South Africa

FOOTGOLF – THE BASICS As the name suggest, most rules of FootGolf correspond with those of golf. A detailed rule book is available at, but the following represents a 10-point guide to the main principles.








United Kingdom



Wear golf apparel.


Your ball must be easy to identify.


Review the scorecard and wait for your turn. Make sure your kick will not interfere with other players.


The ball must be played in a single movement. Your foot should be set separate from the ball, clearly behind, before the kick.


Wait to play until the ball has completely come to rest. It is not legal to stop the ball from rolling with the wind.


Kick off your ball from a position up to two meters behind the round markers (tee markers). The order is established based on the score of the previous hole. The player with the best score will be the first to kick off on the next hole followed by the second, etc.


Play the ball from where it lies: you are not allowed to move the ball or remove jammed objects. You may mark the spot and lift the ball when it may obstruct the other players’ kick or ball in any way, however.


The player farthest from the hole is the first to kick the ball.


If the ball lands in a water hazard, retrieve or replace it within two steps from the closest land point from where the ball entered the water, receiving one penalty point. Or you can place the ball at the position of the previous kick and receive one penalty point.

10. Only on the greens may the balls be picked up to be cleaned or replaced. Regardless of the distance from the hole, the hole must be completed. ‘Giving’ to the opponent is not allowed.

United States




Addington Golf Club in Croydon, Surrey, is just one UK golf course to have launched FootGolf.

When I was Director of Golf at Addington Golf Club we created a special 2000-yard, 18-hole course, which features Par 3s, Par 4s and even a 350-yard Par 5 to test even the best FootGolfers. The course uses the natural landscape but preserves the great condition of the playing surfaces for the regular golfers. It’s for all ages and both sexes. It’s no surprise that a lot of the regular Junior golfers have been testing out the new FootGolf course after their regular game of golf – and some could even become joint FootGolf and Golf professionals! We contacted some local football teams to try and get them involved on Sundays, to warm up for the new season.

Paul Oliver, PGA Professional / UK Development, UK FootGolf Association. (Paul joined the UK FootGolf Association full time in March this year.) 34 CLUBHOUSE EUROPE

CONTACT DETAILS HEAD OFFICE Federation for International FootGolf, 124 New Bond Street, London W1S 1DX United Kingdom t. (+44) 20 3239 5324 e. f. (+1) 866 702 1667 text. (+44) 75 5168 6166



Supporting your Pro Here’s an idea? With easy access to the Internet and the ability to shop online, as well as at large discount stores, the sales outlook for the club pro may seem bleak, warns Duncan Ritchie. So how does this sound?


t can be embarrassing for members to meet the club pro, bedecked in new golf shoes, a new bag and sparkling new clubs, none of which were bought at the club’s Pro Shop. The Internet and discount stores are here to stay, so how can the club pro compete? How about this idea for a win-win? If each full member donated £100 to the club pro at the start of each year, then, in return, every purchase made at the Pro Shop would be at cost price. The pro could order the goods in from the least expensive source – whether that’s the Internet, the manufacturer or elsewhere. The purchases would then be delivered to the Pro

Shop for collection by the members on their next visit to the club. Manufacturers would still want to give the pro their demo clubs, clothing, footwear etc... after all they’re still keen to sell their brand and the Pro Shop is literally a shop window for them. The pro would then make any required measurements etc and the member would get the best deal possible. This would prove to be a great incentive for golfers to keep up to date with their equipment, and of course, the pro would remain happy, loyal and competitive. As the UK TV meerkats might say... Simples!!!



Ernie Els – winning with wine What do Bjorn Borg, sprinter Michael Johnson, Formula 1’s Eddie Jordan, countless golf tour professionals, and a line-up of all-time legends from the world of rugby all have in common? They’ve all enjoyed a visit and, naturally, a little wine tasting at Ernie Els Wines in Stellenbosch. Steve Newell decided to follow in these illustrious footsteps with the very worthy intention of testing out some of the smoothest reds in the business. A tough job as they say, but someone had to do it.


istory does not record whether or not Mother Nature was a wine drinker, but she certainly wasn’t about to judge those who were. Why else would she create such a perfect harmony of topography and climate that has enabled the good people of Stellenbosch to excel in the pleasure-giving pursuit of wine making? It is now easily South Africa’s most storied wine producing region and voted by Wine Enthusiast magazine as one of its 10 Best Wine Travel Destinations on the planet. Understandably, it was the preferred location for golfing legend Ernie and his team when searching for a suitable home for Ernie Els Wines.


Just 15 years later, not much more than a blink of the eye in the wine business, it has grown and matured into one of the most successful and respected wine producers in the country. This healthy growth can be traced back to the roots of proprietor Ernie Els’ long-held passion for wine. “I grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa, which is a fair distance from the winelands of the Cape,” explains Ernie. “My wife Liezl is originally from Stellenbosch, though. We visited a mutual friend’s winery, also in Stellenbosch, during the 1990s and that’s where the vision of one day having my own winery first took shape. It was such an exciting prospect, combining one of your

passions with business. Not many people are lucky enough to do that. I absolutely love it.” As it happened, it was almost the eve of the new millennium before the concept of Ernie Els Wines became reality. Award-winning winemaker and Cape Winemakers Guild member, Louis Strydom, came on board and soon after they were pouring the maiden vintage of the Ernie Els Signature wine – a ‘classic’ Bordeaux-style blend that has since become the top tipple in a magnificent portfolio of quality wines with a focus on red. The public likes them and so too does the industry. A lot. These wines perform estimably in

print media, in particular Wine Spectator, one of the world’s foremost wine publication. Indeed, South Africa-category senior editor James Molesworth has previously listed three of the wines from the portfolio in the ‘outstanding’ category, suggesting these are wines ‘...of superior character and style’. When Golf Illustrated – the world’s oldest golf magazine – was relaunched at the end of 2012, one of its lead articles was a comparison of top golfers’ wines including David Frost, John Daly, Arnold Palmer, Gary Player, Christy O’Connor Jnr, Retief Goosen and Nick Faldo. The Ernie Els Signature 2006 blew them all away with a top ranking of 94/100. The author of the piece, the Mail on Sunday’s wine correspondent Olly Smith wrote, ‘what a wine! It is wild, it is powerful, it is really muscular and it really blew my socks off. It matches power with finesse’. In addition, the wines are regular medal winners at industry awards ceremonies all over the world, and habitual recipients of the 5-star rating from the prestigious John Platter Wine Guide in South Africa. Ernie couldn’t be more proud and despite a golfing career that is still very much in full swing, he insists on being hands-on with his various business activities. The wine business is no exception. “It’s not just my name on the label,” says Ernie. “When I’m on the road I stay in regular contact with Louis [Strydom, head winemaker and managing director at Ernie Els Wines]. When opportunity allows for me to visit South Africa, I’ll go on-site to the winery and we’ll spend some time tasting through the base wines (pre-blended wines) in the cellar. Louis naturally guides me on what he is looking to achieve stylistically and I give my input on what I enjoy and where my palate is at. My palate has definitely evolved over the years. It’s true that Bordeaux is my first love and that was the cornerstone of our first wines. Over the past five years, though, through living in America, I’ve familiarised myself with the wines of California, particularly Napa and I have my favourites there, too. Still, nothing quite beats great, bottle-aged Bordeaux!” For marketing purposes it naturally helps that Ernie is a world-renowned golfer, but that in itself is not a sufficiently powerful driver of success.

“Whatever the brand is,” says Ernie, “if it’s not great quality then people are not going to buy it – simple as that. We understand that in order to build a successful wine business and brand, it’s imperative to bottle quality wine. Louis and the team have, and continue to do, a wonderful job.” In addition to the power of the Ernie Els name, awareness of the brand has been bolstered by a consistently high level of marketing activity – the team travels extensively, visiting both local and international import and distribution partners and also attending wine shows and exhibitions the world over. Another astute piece of marketing was orchestrated by Duncan Woods, Brand Manager of the Els Group in South Africa, who established the agreement for Ernie Els Wines to be the official wine of the PGA of South Africa. “The people who enjoy golf are often the same people who enjoy a good bottle of wine,” he says. Indeed so. Your correspondent loves a game of golf like the next man, but we’re here to drink, not drive. I meet with Marketing Manager Lynton Kaiser to enjoy lunch and a glass of the good stuff out on the terrace. Business is brisk and the atmosphere as convivial as you would expect when fine wine, great food and a beautiful view collide. “We’ve become one of the ‘go-to’ destinations on the wine route,” says Lynton. “Patrons are visit-

ing us, enjoying a walk through the winery, taking a peek into Ernie’s trophy room, and obviously tasting and supporting our wines. We offer lunch here on the terrace and coupled with this sensational panoramic view that we’re privileged to have, there’s little reason to complain.” Ernie’s property spans 177-acres and sits nestled within the embrace of the north-facing slopes of the Helderberg Mountain. The Cape and the winelands in particular offer an incredible lifestyle – never let it be said the South Africans don’t know how to live. Still, like the man himself, Ernie’s wines travel very well, and with a network of partners throughout continental Europe and the UK they’re never too far away for anyone keen

CONTACT DETAILS For a full list of Ernie Els Wines global agents and distributors visit Or for more information, email Lynton Kaiser at Ernie Els Wines –




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Google game-plan throws spotlight on websites Google recently made an announcement relating to its search engine algorithm. But what does this mean to the club website? Web experts Larrytech explain.


hile Google is seldom out of the headlines, we all know that it isn’t some omnipotent, all-powerful, all-knowing entity – there is in fact an algorithm that powers its search engine. Simply put for those not in the know, an algorithm is a step-by-step list of directions that need to be followed to solve a problem. In Google’s case, the problem is how to turn your search queries into page results relevant to you. The ‘relevant results’ part is what has made it the most popular search engine in the world. No one knows what the EXACT algorithm looks like, though general guidelines released by Google combined with real world testing and analysis from SEO practitioners means that it is possible to gain a strong understanding of what’s needed to rank in the search results. Earlier in February, straight from the horse’s mouth, Google announced a key alteration to the algorithm that will come into effect in late April; essentially, if your website is responsive and mobile friendly then it will be rewarded in search rankings, if not then it will be penalised. So what does this piece of news mean, and why should you care? If you are unsure of what the word ‘responsive’ has to do with a website, all it means is that it is tailored for different screen sizes. A responsive website is coded in such a way that it does not care if you are viewing it on a phone’s 5inch screen or a 50inch TV screen. For any clubs who have recently had a responsive design or development for their website then this piece doesn’t really apply to you, but gives some weight to your decision to invest in a responsive website that is a pleasure to use for existing members, and an enticing prospect for new members looking to join. Tip: To see if your club website is mobile friendly, go directly to webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/ and enter in the website address (URL) For others, this piece of news provides a great opportunity to get your club’s website ‘house in order’ so to speak.

Why should a club have a responsive website? First and foremost, it would be ideal for it to be fit for purpose. You may have heard general dissatisfaction about your club website from members, perhaps with some more specific complaints such as: • The text/font is too small to read • I keep on clicking on the wrong button! • It takes forever to load/doesn’t load properly Having a responsively designed website will end these types of user frustration, and will make sure they don’t attribute these feelings directly to your club. Is a ‘responsive’ website essential for your club? The decision of whether to make your club website adhere to this new Google guideline depends on individual circumstances, as it may not seem entirely essential to the club’s running or operation. If your club’s website is primarily used as a simple reference point and marketing tool, then you could get away with not investing in a redevelopment in the short term, at the expense of getting pushed down in the search rankings. If it has functionality that is key to your offering and member satisfaction, such as a bespoke online booking system, then making sure it is accessible on different devices, could well be a higher priority for you. To get some insight into your club’s individual situation, and to also backup any decision for

redesign or redevelopment with some solid facts and evidence, it would be wise to delve into the analytics. Tip: Ask the person in charge of your club’s website to install Google Analytics. If it’s already installed, ask what proportion of the website’s visitors come from mobile and tablet devices. The proportion of a website’s visitors from mobile/tablet devices changes from industry to industry; for instance it is generally a lower figure in an enterprise/corporate setting. For club websites, you can expect the proportion to be higher (we have noted tablet usage being particularly high on some club websites we have dealt with). Again, until you see the figures for your club yourself, it is hard to be certain whether a responsive website should be considered a high priority. What we can be certain of is that Google considers it to be a crucial element of a website. And that serves as a reminder for all websites to get up to speed!

CONTACT DETAILS Larrytech Ltd Calverley House, 55 Calverley Road, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN1 2TU, UK e. or t. 01892 888011



3website “Easy Wins” Getmorewiththese

Almost every club today is looking for an advantage when it comes to their website, and many clubs have no idea where to start. Topics such as Search Engine Optimisation seem almost too big to comprehend, and detailed analytics can be overwhelming for even seasoned website administrators, advises Trevor Coughlan from Jonas.


hat most clubs need are what I like to call “Easy Wins”. This doesn’t include investing significant funds into a usability study, or hiring a third part company to spend months assessing your site just to turn around and give you common sense advice. Easy Wins are all about doing the little things right, and they start with concepts as simple as setting appropriate goals for your club. Design/re-design with a goal in mind All too often clubs have no idea why they even have a website. We all know that a beautiful, functional website is a ‘must-have’ in today’s modern world, however, all too often the concept of trying to achieve a specific result gets lost. Instead we end up having a website just for the sake of having a website. From the very beginning, your website should be designed to appeal most to your target audience, and this can be determined by your overall business goals. Is your club trying to capture new business from guests, eventually turning them into devoted members? If so, then focusing your website imagery and content on what sets your club apart is an appropriate first step. You’ll also want to take every opportunity to encourage website visitors to contact the club, or submit their information for follow up. On the other hand, maybe your club is currently focusing on adding value and a sense of exclusivity for its existing membership. In this case, minimal information available to the public and a feature rich member’s only area should be your focus. In either case, knowing what you want to get out of a website will help determine what you put in, and should focus your efforts, making a website design/re-design much easier.

first impression on site visitors. However, much like setting goals for a full site design/re-design, the photographs you choose should directly reflect the club environment you are trying to develop. Take as an example, Capital Club Dubai ( Every image used on the home page of their website was chosen in an effort to reflect the modern esthetic of the club. They have even taken it a step further by using sophisticated black and white photography, and have added a contemporary twist by including the club’s theme color in each. This excellent use of photography makes clear the type of member the club is trying to attract, without ever having to say a word. No matter what your club’s goals are, using photography which is directly connected to the lifestyle of your desired members and guests is a sure way to make an immediate and lasting impression.

Photography is everything The importance of choosing the right photographs for your website can’t be overemphasised. The quality and subject matter can easily make or break the look and feel of your website, and nothing makes a club look out of date faster than low quality, dull photographs. Clubs that are willing to spend the time, effort and sometimes money in order to get high quality photographs are the ones who can usually create a striking

Interaction drives repeat business Your website shouldn’t just be a place of seeing, it should be a place of doing. Individuals need to have the opportunity to visit your website and be engaged, and the reason for this is simple. Online interaction drives repeat visits, and every time someone visits your club website is another opportunity for your club to upsell services, promote events, and make them aware of opportunities they may never have noticed otherwise.


Online interaction comes in many forms such as blogs or interactive calendars of events. Both of which are great ways to boost your club’s profile and drive repeat visitors. However, online features that provide website visitors with the ability to book a tee time, or make a dining reservation, are the tools that take website interaction and turn it into online productivity – something your members and guests are sure to appreciate and for which they are likely to return. You should never forget that aside from the word of mouth references, your club website is your single greatest source of advertising, and just like any successful marketing strategy it must be: • Designed with your business goals in mind • Built to accurately reflect & achieve those goals • Delivered in a way that adds value With these three simple ideas in mind, any club should be able to launch a website and expect positive results.

CONTACT DETAILS Trevor Coughlan Director, Marketing, Jonas Club Software e. Unit 23, 113-126 Upper Richmond Road, Putney, London SW15 2TL



Attention to detail There is a lot of talk in the golf industry about “attention to detail”, but what exactly does that mean? And what is it about attention to detail that discerning customers subliminally like? CMAE’s Mike Braidwood explains.


here must be millions of examples of “attention to detail”. Some, I think, are directly linked to basic service, management follow through and good disciplines. Here are some examples of attention to detail that I have experienced at golf clubs, and other places, that might just help make that little bit of difference. 1. First and last impression Not every golf facility has big budgets, but it is easy to ensure your first and last impressions are up to standard. Good sign posting to the facility, welcome sign, neat and tidy car park, spaces well defined, landscaping around the car park in good order, litter free, 1st / 10th tees looking sharp (9th and 18th greens looking good too), paths to tees well maintained... and so on. Most golfers take in the first and last impressions because during the middle they are too busy trying to compile a decent score (all of it

should be good, but if you have limited resources focus on the first and last impressions). 2. Staff Staff that care, staff that want to be there, staff that understand they are in the entertainment business and staff who have experienced good service themselves (there is no point in talking about 5* service if the only experience your staff have had is the local fish and chip shop!). There is really no excuse for poor staff these days! Recruit well, use recruitment tools (or recruitment agencies), orientate your staff, train them and utilise the three month probation clause. If they don’t cut the mustard don’t keep them: you will live to regret it! 3. Staff uniforms Invest in your staff uniforms. Make them stand out from the crowd, use innovation and make the staff

smart and proud to be part of your organisation. Have good quality name badges and insist on high grooming standards. If you ever shop, dine, stay or fly with leading brands, you always see immaculately turned out staff in sharp uniforms. Think of the uniform as costumes which your staff put on before they perform... perform great service and attention to detail. 4. Follow up In today’s instant world you have to be ready to follow up immediately on customer requests. Modern technology allows for this and when done well it is impressive and really shows your facility is on its game. Text messages to confirm tee times and auto responders to email are just two of the modern ways of doing this. For some reason people just need to know now that their request is being taken care of.



MANAGEMENT PERSPECTIVES 5. Use their name Customer recognition is key these days to getting loyal customers and is a great attention to detail initiative. There should be no excuse for not knowing and using your members’ names. However, you can also do this with their guests and visitors if you collect the right information when they make a booking and share this information across the facility. There is no reason that the bar cannot have access to view the tee sheet to see who was playing with member X. Also, by investing in or activating a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system you should soon be able to gather more data on members, their guests and regular visitors. 6. Consistent brand application All top facilities, more or less, have a consistent application of their brand across the whole facility. This is important as it reinforces your brand, starts to build customer loyalty and gives an air of attention to detail. Make sure you have a brand manual (it doesn’t need to be big and fancy) and have a brand custodian in your team (to ensure consistent application). Then go to town and apply that brand – tees, pencils, signage, uniforms, coasters, table mats, napkins, flags, etc. 7. Signage Bad signage stands out! Good signage makes the customer journey pleasurable. If you have the opportunity to renew all of your signage then do it! If you do not, then start to apply some common sense, some brand guidelines and some consistency. Signage on notice boards should be consistent, all of the drawing pins should be the same, the club logo should be apparent. Temporary information signs should be framed, directional signage should be in a clear font and at eye level, course signage should be consistent and conform with your brand. There should never be a homemade looking sign in your facility. 8. Toilets It is amazing how many people judge a place by the cleanliness and quality of the toilets. Yet it is something that is often over looked. Make sure you put a bit of TLC (tender loving care) into your toilets. If they are old and you cannot afford a refurb then don’t worry – just put in a bit of effort and it will help. Regular quality cleaning, air fresheners, piped music, folded hand towel, flower displays, interesting decor, pictures/notices above the urinals (sorry ladies), fold the end of the toilet paper into a point, quality hand soap dispensers, wicker basket bins (not plastic)... the list goes on, but it is important to the customers’ enjoyment of your facility. 9. Consistency You can tell when an operation has standard operating procedures as it usually stands out a mile. You can also tell quickly when one does not have any! You don’t need many, but it is important to have a dozen or more standard service procedures that ensure consistent delivery throughout your operation. Telephone answering, greeting members and


Bad signage stands out! Good signage makes the customer journey more pleasurable.

guests, delivery of food, handling complaints, general set up (bar, restaurant, reception desk, etc), music and entertainment (it is amazing how many

golf clubs show soap operas when there is golf on the TV! – just for the staff’s benefit!), meal presentations (should not differ between chefs), delivery of condiments and so on. Consistency is key and customers come back because of it. 10. The extra mile If you really want to go to town, then you can go the extra mile in your golf operations by presenting your guests with a personalised bag tag on arrival, by pre-preparing scorecards and pin location sheets, and offering a complimentary tee gift. 11. Golf course presentation Ensuring that your golf course looks as sharp as feasibly possible is a given. Again, this does not cost fortunes to do, just have a good diligent golf course maintenance team who know what a good job looks like. Also a diligent manager or pro should go round the course regularly picking up on small detail points that need attention – path edges are neat, paths are weed free, bunkers are raked, rakes are in a consistent position within the bunker, flags are in good repair and have the logo on them, consistent course furniture, ball washers (with water in them!) and a towel, litter free, regular divoting (can be done voluntarily by members or juniors) etc. 12. Questionnaire Finally, you should send your guests a quick and easy online questionnaire to gain feedback on their experience. In this way you will find out what their likes and dislikes are, where you (and your team) are performing well and where you need to sharpen up. Another way to do this is to ask them to comment on Trip Advisor, as this then gives you free publicity.


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